Danish Rye Bread (Rugbrød)

Rugbrød is a Danish rye bread that is as delicious as it is nutritious. Small loaves are made with rye flour, whole grains, and a variety of wholesome seeds. These dense loaves, when sliced thin, are perfect for smorrebrod, the famous open face sandwiches Denmark is famous for.

Rugbrød- Danish Rye Bread

The difference between this homemade rugbrød and store bought is glaring. Store bought is often closer to either traditional rye bread or pumpernickel, neither of which is the perfect fit for the myriad of toppings for smorrebrod open-faced sandwiches. This recipe is easy and foolproof, forgoing the traditional sourdough starter for instant yeast.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Brunch, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Denmark, North Western European, Scandanavian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting: 9 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 26 slices
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Stand Mixer with paddle attachment
  • 13x4x4-inch Pullman loaf pan, needs a lid


Seeds for Soaking

  • cup Rye chops or a 7 grain hot cereal mix like Bob's Red Mill brand
  • 1 cup Sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup Pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup Flax seeds
  • 2⅔ cup Cold water

Bread Dough

  • 2 cup Dark rye flour
  • 2 cup Bread flour
  • 1 tsp Instant dry yeast
  • cup Cold water
  • 4 tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Molasses
  • Butter or oil spray for greasing pan


Soaking Seeds

  • Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, cover, and sit on the counter overnight.

Make Dough

  • In another medium bowl, combine both flours, yeast, and water. Knead with your hands to get a cohesive mixture. Dough will be very thick like clay. Cover and rest overnight on the counter.
  • Grease a loaf pan and dust with rye flour, including the lid. set aside, Add the soaking mixture, dough, salt, and molasses to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until everything is thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides occasionally. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing for another 3 minutes. Dough will be quite sticky at this point.
  • Transfer dough into a greased loaf pan. Smooth out the top and sprinkle it with a thin layer of rye flour. Cover loaf pan and let dough rise at room temperature for 2 hours. It should have expanded to be about ½-inch from the top of the pan.

Baking Rugbrod

  • Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Bake loaf for 15 minutes with lid on. Reduce oven heat to 400°F (205°C) and bake another 15 minutes. Remove pan to stovetop, slide lid off, and reduce heat to 325°F (160°C). Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Transfer the loaf from the pan to a wire rack set inside a baking tray. Place into oven and bake at the same temperature for 10 minutes.
  • Remove bread from oven and leave on the rack to cool for at least 3 hours before slicing.


  • Rugbrød is even better the next day after baking. 
  • Wrap cooled bread loosely with foil and leave on the counter overnight before slicing. 
  • Bread will keep at room temperature loosely wrapped for 2-3 days and longer in the freezer. 


Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 361mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

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